Highlights 2020


BSB Innovation Awards

No fewer than three first prizes were awarded to Symrise at the renowned European BSB Innovation Awards ceremony: The natural anti-dandruff active ingredient Crinipan® PMC green received the award for Most Innovative Active Ingredient for cosmetics in the category “Scalp, Barrier, Redness.” It combines a smart mode of action with high clinical effectiveness. SymControl® Scalp provides an environmentally friendly solution for scalp and hair that becomes oily quickly. The active ingredient, which comes from a Mediterranean microalga, won first prize for Natural Products/Raw Materials. In the “Functionals” cat­egory, SymEffect™Sun, a natural ingredient for optimized sunscreen formulations, was the winner. This triple award underscores the position of Symrise as an innovation leader in the development of natural ingredients.


Confidence in the Chinese market

In May 2020, Symrise inaugurated the largest single investment in the company’s history: the construction of a new pro­duction site for flavorings and fragrances in Nantong near the Shanghai metropolis. € 50 million flowed into the state-of-the-art production site, which is geared toward the future and growth. Symrise is consciously committing itself to the world’s strongest growth region. With a 6 % share of total sales, China already ranks as the third-strongest revenue-generating market for Symrise after the USA and Germany. De­spite the current coronavirus pandemic, the business of Symrise in China is running smoothly and the new factory will be able to be opened as planned. Specialists from the subsidiary Tesium assisted local experts in planning and implementing the major project.


Thank you to coronavirus first responders

A fragrance created especially for the heroes of the coronavirus pandemic: HERO brings together components of 19 Symrise perfumers from all over the world in an eau de cologne for men and women. It is being distributed to the many thou­sands of heroes who work in hospitals and nursing homes to provide the population with care during lockdowns. HERO is a small way of saying thanks. Beginning in May 2020, Symrise initially distributed the fragrance – which is composed of renewable raw materials – in the USA, France, China, Singapore, Brazil and Dubai. It serves as a token of appreciation for everyday heroes.


New Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Symrise

Following the first virtual Annual General Meeting of Symrise AG on June 17, 2020, the company’s Supervisory Board met and elected Michael König as its new chairman. He succeeds Dr. Winfried Steeger, who resigned as Chairman of the Supervisory Board upon attaining the statutory retirement age. Michael König is CEO of the listed company Elkem ASA, a leading global supplier of silicone-based high-performance materials with headquarters in Oslo. Prior to that, he headed a Chinese company for new chemical substances and animal nutrition and worked for Bayer AG in Germany and China for 25 years. The Annual General Meeting also elected Peter Vanacker as a new member of the Supervisory Board; he is President and CEO of the Finnish Neste Corporation.

Michael König
Peter Vanacker

Successful placement of a € 500 million bond

In late June, Symrise closed the issue of a € 500 million Eurobond with great success. The Eurobond has a term of seven years and an annual coupon of 1.375 %. The high investor demand for the new issue – the bond was heavily oversubscribed – underlines investor confidence in the sustainable business model and the solid financing structure of Symrise.


Transparency in the supply chain

Companies such as Symrise that are consistently focused on sus­tain­ability not only take respon­sibility for their own activities, but also ensure transparency and traceability in their global value chains. Along with 32 other companies and organizations, Symrise supports the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA). The initiative offers a platform for exchanging knowledge and operates sustainable projects in Colombia, Ethiopia and West Africa. Symrise has set its own goal of sourcing all strategic raw materials for agro- and aquaculture from sustainable pro­duction by 2025. Supply chains that have been created in a responsible way fulfill due diligence obligations – with respect to human rights and environmental friendliness, for example – and contribute to greater legal certainty and equal competitive conditions.


Focus on sustainable packaging

By 2030 at the latest, Symrise aims to have a positive climate footprint. To achieve this ambitious goal, the company must review all operational processes worldwide for their climate compatibility and find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An important issue in this zero-waste strategy is the implementation of numerous measures for sustainable packaging. The focus is on avoidance of waste, reusability and recycling. Together with customers and suppliers, the supply chain experts at Symrise are constantly looking for innovative and sustainable solutions. Paper bags instead of plastic bags, large barrels instead of small canisters, and reusable metal cups are a few examples of the many improvements. In addition, unavoidable CO2 emissions caused during production and transport are increasingly being offset by certified climate protection projects. For example, as part of a pilot project for climate-neutral boxes that has been running in Germany since March 2020, cartons are marked with a QR code. The code leads to a website where readers can find out which sustainability projects Symrise supports to compensate for unavoidable emissions. The goal is to expand the concept to all production sites.


Expansion of the fragrance portfolio

Symrise acquires the Fragrance and Aroma Chemicals business of the US company Sensient Technologies Corporation. These activities, which achieved sales of around € 77 million in 2019, include fragrances from renewable raw materials such as pine oil and citrus products, as well as various Aroma Molecules solutions. They are used in personal care and household products. With this acquisition, Symrise is strengthening its portfolio of renewable ingredients and expanding its value chain in the area of green chemistry. At the same time, Symrise is receiving access to additional customers and strengthening its presence in EAME and Latin America. Symrise plans to combine the acquired research and development and production capacities with parts of its own activities at its site in Granada, Spain, and to expand them in the coming years through targeted investments.


Together We Care

2020 was an exceptional year, and a year that caused exceptional stress. Symrise employees in Latin America used this thought as a reason to start the “Together We Care” initiative. Rather than giving Christmas gifts to customers and partners as usual, all business units in Latin America collected the resources that had been earmarked for gifts and made donations to charitable organizations that were especially hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The employees developed an internal and external ad campaign for the initiative and incorporated customers and business partners into it. The response was overwhelming: In just 10 days, 1,133 supporters joined the campaign and made suggestions about social concerns that should be considered for donations. This resulted in an invaluable sense of community.


Symrise discontinues use of plastic

One of the primary environmental goals at Symrise is to avoid waste whenever possible. This is especially true for plastic materials that are used primarily for packaging and in disposable containers. Symrise set itself three clear goals in late 2020:

  • We will recycle more than 95 % of the plastic we use by 2025 wherever local conditions permit.
  • We will use exclusively sustainable packaging materials by 2025.
  • We will discontinue the use of all disposable plastic containers in the entire Group by mid-2021.

In so doing, we will not compromise on quality, safety or compliance with legal requirements. An international, interdisciplinary team is driving the project forward, and the Symrise Sustainability Board is monitoring its implementation.


Further Stories >


Editorial of the Global ­Management ­Committee

Increasing the value of the company and solidifying its future prospects are the key pillars that define our strategy at Symrise. For us, economic success and sustainability go hand in hand.

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Our Company

Symrise products provide exciting flavor and fragrance experiences, improve food characteristics, and contribute to the health and well-being of consumers in more than 150 countries around the world.

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Our Values, Goals, Responsibility

At Symrise, shared values form the basis for shared goals: We strive for economic success and, at the same time, embrace our responsibility to the environment, our em­ployees and society.

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Sustainability at Symrise

Sustainability is an integral component of the Symrise business model and corporate strategy.

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Our Goal: Climate-positive starting in 2030

The business activities of Symrise will contribute to preventing or sequestering more greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere than we produce through our operating activities.

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2020 Track Record and 2025 Goals

The power of holistic action: In 2020, Symrise put the stability of its business model and resilience in times of crisis to the test amid a difficult environment.

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